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    Personality Development


    Personality is a concept that we use continuously in our day-to-day routine, when dealing with people.

    We talk about people as having a good personality or a bad personality or arrogant and aggressive

    personality. Personality can be reflected in a person‟s temperament and is a key factor influencing

    individual behavior in organizations. Often the wrong type of personality of a superior proves disastrous

    in terms of worker unrest and protests.

    Salvatore Maddi has defined personality as:

    “Personality is a stable set of characteristics and tendencies that determine those commonalities and

    differences in the psychological behavior (thoughts, feelings and actions) of people that have continuity in time and that may not be easily understood as the sole result of the social and biological

    pressures of the moment.”

    There are several aspects of this definition that need to be considered. The first aspect is - relative

    stability of characteristics. These characteristics account for “consistent patterns” of behavior.

    The second aspect is the “commonalities and differences” in the behavior of people. We are

    interested in understanding as to what an individual has in common with others as well as what sets that individual apart from others. Every person is in certain aspects,

     Like all other people

     Like some other people

     Like no other person

    Personality Types

    There are two types of individual personality Type A and Type B. A person exhibiting Type a behavior

    is generally restless, impatient with a desire for quick achievement and perfectionism. Type B is

    much easier going relaxed about time pressure, less competitive and more philosophical in nature.

    Some of the characteristics of Type A personality are given below.

     Is restless, so that he always moves, walks and eats rapidly.  Is impatient with the pace of things, dislikes waiting and is impatient with those who are not

    impatient.  Does several things at once.

     Tries to schedule more and more in less and less time, irrespective of whether everything is done or


     Usually does not complete one thing before starting on another.  Uses nervous gestures such as clenched fist and banging on table.

     Does not have time to relax and enjoy life.

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    Type B behavior is just the opposite and is more relaxed, sociable and has a balanced outlook on life.

    Type a behavior profile tends to be obsessive and managers with such behavior are hard driving,

    detailed-oriented people with high performance standards.

    Personality traits related to job performance

     Extraversion  Agreeableness

     Emotional stability  Openness to experience.

    Factors Contributing to Personality

    According to Maier, “knowledge, skill and language are obviously acquired and represent important

    modifications of behavior. Learned modifications in behavior are not passed on to children, they must

    be acquired by them through their own personal experience.”

    The probable consensus is that heredity and environment jointly affect personality development. The

    full potential of a person may or may not be achieved due to environmental constraints and

    requirements, but the potential for development, both physically and psychologically is determined by

    the complex set of genes.

    The factors affecting personality development are illustrated as follows:

     Heredity  Culture  Family

     Environment

     Personality  Social

     Situational

    Personality Dimensions

    Some of the more important dimensions of personality that are closely linked with interpersonal and

    organizational behavior are discussed as follows:

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    Authoritarianism refers to blind acceptance of authority. Authoritarian people believe in obedience

    and respect for authority. Because of their beliefs in hierarchical order, they make good followers;

    work better under directive supervision and more productive within authoritarian organizational structure.

    A closely related term to authoritarians is “dogmatism” which refers to the rigidity of a person‟s


    Bureaucratic Personality:

    A bureaucratic person respects for authority is not total and blind, but is based upon respect for

    organizational rules and regulations. A bureaucratic person values subordination, rules, conformity,

    orderly processes in the organization and impersonal and formal relationships.


    Machiavellianism is a term associated with Niccolo Machiavelli, a sixteenth century author who

    identified personality profiles of noble men. This personality merges in manipulating others for purely

    personal gains, to gain and keep control of others. People who are Machiavellian types have high self-

    confidence and high self-esteem. They are cool and calculating and have no hesitation in using others

    or taking advantages of others in order to serve their own goals.

    Problem Solving Style:

    Individuals have their own style of making decisions and this style reflects their personality in certain ways. Some people are very through, meticulous and detail oriented. Others are impulsive and

    become easily swayed by what seems to be obvious.

    The problem solving style has two dimensions. One is the information gathering and the second

    dimension is evaluation of data and taking of decisions. Further, there are two styles involved in

    information gathering. One is known as Sensation and the second style known as intuitive style,

    The evaluation style also has two dimensions. One style involves more emphasis on feeling while the

    other involves more emphasis on thinking.

    When the two dimensions of information gathering and the two dimensions of evaluation are

    combined, it results in four problem-solving styles. These are:

    1. Sensation-feeling style. These people are dependable, friendly, social and approach facts with

    human concerns. They are pragmatic, methodical and like jobs that involve human contact and

    public relations. Some suitable areas of jobs include teaching customer relations, social workers,

    and sales people.

    2. Sensation-thinking style. They are practical, logical, decisive, and sensitive to details they also prefer bureaucratic type organizations. They are not highly skilled in interpersonal relations and are

    more suited to such technical jobs as those of production, accounting, engineering and computer


    3. Intuition-feeling style. These people are enthusiastic, people oriented, charismatic and helpful.

    Some of the professions suitable for this style are public relations, advertising, politics and


    4. Intuition-thinking style. These people are creative, energetic, ingenious, and like jobs that are challenging in terms of design and analysis such as system design, law, research and development,

    top management and so on.

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    Locus of Control

    Locus of control is the extent to which the individuals believe that:

     They control their own lives, or  External forces control their lives, which are beyond their control.

    A person with a strong “internal locus of control” believes that he controls events concerning his own

    life and that his internal traits determine what happens in given situation. A person with a strong

    “external locus of control” feels that outside forces are affecting the events in his life and he is at the

    mercy of destiny, chance or other people. He believes that “whatever will be, will be” and everything

    happens by the will of God.

    Introvert and Extrovert Personalities

    Introvert persons are basically shy, they prefer to be alone and have difficulty in communicating.

    Extroverts are outgoing, objective, and aggressive they also relate well with people.


    Self-esteem is the degree of respect a person has for himself. Self-esteem is a measure of self-

    confidence and respect for one‟s abilities and motivation. It is also a higher level need in Maslow‟s

    model of hierarchical needs. Self-esteem is positively related to assertiveness, independence and


    The socialization process

    a) Organizational socialization – values, norms, behavior pattern  Provide a challenging job  Provide relevant training

     Provide timely and consistent feedback  Select a good first supervisor to be in charge of socialization

     Design a relaxed orientation program

     Place new recruits in work groups with high morals

    b) Characteristics of organizational sociali